Whistleblower Actions

Subject: Law
Type: Profile Essay
Pages: 5
Word count: 1284
Topics: Justice, Crime, Criminal Justice


Whistleblowing entails reporting of a conduct prohibited by a specific law (Devine & Maassarani, 2011). It involves reporting an act of omission or commission that may result in the damage to public safety, waste of public coffers, or the violation of public trust (Lewis & Gilman, 2012). Some of the practices include employers’ violation of employment regulations or law, fraudulent billing, employers or companies causing danger to public safety and health among many others. Various laws have been enacted in different countries to deal with such crimes. Similarly, numerous policies have been enacted to protect whistleblowers from revenge. This study identifies four real fraud cases two of which involved Whistleblower actions. It also highlights the various criminal statutes that were applied on each of the cases.

Essay writing service:
  • Excellent quality
  • 100% Turnitin-safe
  • Affordable prices

Pfizer, Inc. Whistleblower case (2009)

The Pfizer Inc., an American-based pharmaceutical company was subjected to civil and criminal prosecution on allegations that it had illegally marketed one of its products Bextra, a painkiller that had been withdrawn from the market as a result of safety concerns (Lipman, 2011). This action was a violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute. The suits were instituted by John Kopchinski who had been hired by the Respondent as its sales representative (Burke & Tomlinson, 2016). Although he had been fired by the Respondent at the time he instituted the complaint, the whistleblower had already gathered evidence during his employment in the company. The Whistleblower had initially complained to the company’s management regarding its aggressive promotion of the painkiller far beyond the uses permitted by FDA. However, his concerns were blatantly ignored, and, over time, the unethical and illegal act continued. In fact, the company awarded a $50 bounty to every sales representative who managed to convince doctors to put Bextra to the normal care for patients before and after surgery. The care procedures would compel patients to take excessive doses of Bextra a few days before a knee operation as well as after the procedure to control pain. As a result, he opted to report the matter and the company pleaded guilty to the charges. The firm paid $2.3 billion in fines for the crime while Kopchinski and six other whistleblowers were awarded $102 million to share among themselves (Lipman, 2011).

Bank of America Whistleblower Case

In March 2012, the Bank of America agreed to pay $25 million to settle a probe instituted against it after it was reported that the financial institution was executing underwriting and mortgage fraud (Kohn, 2017). The crimes were alleged to involve its subsidiary Countrywide Financial. Kyle Lagow, the whistleblower who instituted the suit, helped start the investigation and was later awarded $14.5 million. The suit, which was instituted vide the U.S. False Claims Act. During the time the crimes were executed, Lagow was an appraiser with LandSafe Inc., a branch of the subprime mortgage provider Countrywide Financial. The mortgage institution was eventually purchased by the Respondent in 2008. It was then claimed that Lagow witnessed the bank making bad loans on homes with low collateral. The Bank’s executives encouraged evaluators to increase home values for sales. The Whistleblower complained about the malpractices to the Respondent’s executives but no one heeded his complaints.  

In May 2009, the Whistleblower filed a lawsuit against Countrywide and many of the company’s executives and the suit were sealed as one of the Department of Justice probes. As a result, he could not speak anything about the lawsuit, the federal investigations or that he was helping in fixing a rigged system to anyone. Three years later, the case was finally unsealed, permitting Lagow to finally give information to his family and friends. Lagow’s suit was motivated by his desire to save homeowners and appraisers from being defrauded by Countrywide.

GlaxoSmithKline Whistleblower Fraud Case

A whistleblower, Cheryl Eckard, reported a serious contamination in one of GlaxoSmithKline’s plants in Cidra, Puerto Rico (Combe, 2014). The company is popular for the manufacture of numerous medical products including antibiotic, ointments for babies, and various drugs for treating depression, nausea, and diabetes. In August 2002, Eckardled, a special team was sent to the plant to examine the manufacturing breaches that had been discovered by the US Federal Drugs Administration (FDA). Nine months later, Eckard was sacked after disclosing that the violations ran deeper than the FDA had established. She was rendered redundant contrary to her desire in May 2003 after her consistent complaints to GSK’s administration that some of the drugs being made at Cidra were being produced in a non-sterile environment. The factory’s water network was polluted with micro-organisms, and that some of the medicines were being manufactured in the wrong doses.

Eckard notified GSK’s management regarding the situation in Cidra even after she had been fired (Bate, 2012). In the case, she disclosed that she tried to call the company’s chief executive JP Garnier in July 2003 but he declined to speak to her. In August 2003, she forwarded her concerns to the FDA after she established that the company’s compliance department lacked the power to address her concerns. Although the company never admitted liability, it agreed to pay $750m to settle the charges. It was later agreed that the company should pay fines of $150m and a further $600m for related claims.

Whistleblower Fraud Case Against South Bay Mental Health Center, Inc. (Civil Action No. 15-CV-13065)

In this case, the whistleblower, Christine Martino-Fleming, brought an action against South Bay Health Center on the basis that the Respondent was using mental health workers who were unqualified and unsupervised and unqualified Supervisors to treat its clients in Massachusetts (Newman, 2018). Furthermore, the claim indicated that the health facility fraudulently billed Mass Health as well as its payor contracted companies for these services. The Complaint against the Respondents was that during the period 2009-2015 “South Bay allowed its unlicensed, inexperienced and unqualified counselors to treat patients with mental health issues without the supervision of qualified Supervisors, many of whom were unlicensed” (Newman, 2018). These actions were in contravention of the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729 et seq. and Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 12, Sections 5A-50.

The complainant was a former Job Coach and later Coordinator of Staff Development and Training for the Respondent. She presented detailed information alleging that the Respondent was well aware of its illegal actions. She justified her claims by disclosing that the Respondent even commissioned its internal investigation through “Tiger Teams,” which presented reports that specifically indicated that the facility’s Supervisors and Mental Health workers were unqualified in accordance with laws and regulations. Furthermore, in many instances, the Directors of the different Respondent’s clinics located in different parts of the state were not qualified and credentialed. When the Whistleblower realized the extent of the offenses, she sent numerous emails to her superiors informing them of the violations but nothing was done. She further indicated that the Defendants had specific knowledge of the continuing fraud. 

Consequently, the Respondent and its parent companies Community Intervention Services, Inc. and Community Intervention Services Holdings, Inc. agreed to pay a penalty of $4 million to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts purposely to settle the Commonwealth’s claims.

Need a custom paper ASAP?
We can do it today.
Tailored to your instructions. 0% plagiarism.


This study has identified four famous whistleblower fraud cases. It has presented the facts in each of the cases including the fines paid by each of the companies involved in the malpractices. Based on the findings, it was clear that in each of the cases, the whistleblowers were employees of the companies. Each of the whistleblowers raised their concerns pertaining the malpractices of their employers and were subsequently dismissed from employment. Upon their dismissal, the whistleblowers instituted the cases and the respondents pleaded guilty to the charges. As a result, the companies were made to pay for their unlawful acts.

Did you like this sample?
  1. Burke, R. J. & Tomlinson, E. C. (2016). Crime and Corruption in Organizations: Why It Occurs and What to Do About It. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
  2. Bate, R. (2012). Phake: The Deadly World of Falsified and Substandard Medicines. Lanham, MD: Rowman& Littlefield.
  3. Combe, C. (2014). Introduction to Management. New York, NY: OUP Oxford.
  4. Devine, T. &Maassarani, T. F. (2011). The Corporate Whistleblower’s Survival Guide: A Handbook for Committing the Truth. San Francisco, Calif.: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  5. Kohn, M. K. (2017). The New Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide To Doing What’s Right And Protecting Yourself. Lanham, MD: Rowman& Littlefield.
  6. Lewis, C. W. &Gilman, S. C. (2012). The Ethics Challenge in Public Service: A Problem-Solving Guide. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
  7. Lipman, F. D. (2011).Whistleblowers: Incentives, Disincentives, and Protection Strategies. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
  8. Newman, J. A. (2018). Jeffrey Newman Law Announces $4 Million Settlement In Whistleblower Fraud Case Against South Bay Mental Health Center, Inc. Cision PR Newswire. Retrieved from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/jeffrey-newman-law-announces-4-million-settlement-in-whistleblower-fraud-case-against-south-bay-mental-health-center-inc-300596293.html
Related topics
More samples
Related Essays